Yes a few days ago the Minister of Development, José Luis Ábalos, was willing to mediate between taxi drivers and the Community of Madrid to resolve the conflict over the regulation of rental vehicles with driver (VTC), today, in the Congress of Deputies, his attitude has been very different. Far from promoting any approach, Ábalos has discharged on the shoulders of the regional government any responsibility for what may happen in the future to the VTC sector. If Angel Garrido does not regulate these vehicles, Uber or Cabify will stop performing urban services in the capital in four years, he warned.
The motive that the Minister of Development has used to reach this conclusion is given, as he has explained, by the national regulations promoted by his department. In October of last year, Congress validated the decree-law that established the state framework for the provision of VTC services. This law empowers, but does not oblige, those autonomous communities that wish to regulate the activity of these vehicles in their territory. And it is that option, according to Ábalos, which can lead to the disappearance in the Spanish capital of the VTC over a four-year horizon. The minister recalled that the law stipulates that, by default, all VTC vehicles have a license to perform interurban services and that within four years those who want to work inside cities will need a second municipal license. If any autonomous community does not regulate in that direction, after that period, the vehicles of Uber or Cabify would be forced to exclusively carry out the interurban services for which they are empowered by the state regulations. "I do not take responsibility, I have it at the state level. And if the autonomous communities do not want to legislate, the VTC will stop operating in four years"the minister has insisted to defend himself against those who in recent days have accused him of throwing himself aside in this conflict." The Ministry is sticking to its powers, "he said.
Despite the fact that the Decree-Law on Promotion of the VTC has led to an indefinite strike of the taxi sector in Madrid for eleven days and that Catalonia has introduced a pre-contract for the 15-minute service that has led Uber and Cabify to cancel his operations in this city, Ábalos is fully convinced that the legislation is adequate. In his opinion, Spain is not a "rare avis" because in countries such as Brazil, the United States or Germany, the competences on the VTC They are from the cities, as he explained. "I am fully convinced that it is the local and regional administrations that know the mobility needs and those that can make the appropriate decisions", as he explained. And if any party is not convinced with the decree-law, Ábalos recalled that the legislation is open to changes because it is being processed as a bill in Congress.